Some musicians join bands in high school and stay together for decades, but Brett Keating and Joshua Neufeld are among the many who are currently looking to Kijiji and Bandmix.ca to find their future music partners.
After working out of the province for 30 years, Keating already assembled a band of fellow young retirees in November.
“Everybody just came together. Nobody knew each other,” he says.
Keating is now looking for a partner to form a more “quiet duet.”
Since he put an ad up four weeks ago, he’s had six responses and has tried jamming with two respondents.
He says the main barrier to musicians connecting via advertisements and classified listings “is time, scheduling. Everybody has lives, but when you play with somebody that’s really good, you know. You feel it, and it just kind of clicks.”
Keating adds things like expectations, temperaments and play styles are also key factors in music groups being able to form from the listings, something Neufeld knows from experience.
While Neufeld plays multiple instruments, he is mainly looking to join a metal band as a vocalist, and in the sonically diverse metal scene, it can be hard to find a group that fits.
“For me in particular, the kind of metal I would want to be playing – there’s so many different styles of metal – it would be heavy but melodic and just intriguing,” he says. “But a lot of bands might be looking for straight heavy or straight melodic, and there’s so many different sounds that you can be going for.”
“Everyone has their styles of music that they really enjoy, and that’s different for everybody, and that’s a really beautiful thing about joining a band.Everyone is bringing together their genre and their niche at one time,” he says. “It can be a blessing and a curse. It’s hard to find the right sound, but you might be bringing different elements to the table that might really sound good together.”
And just as timing can be a barrier to a musical group forming, so can distance. Neufeld had a promising invitation to join a metal band that was interested in his vocal work, “but those guys were in Portage la Prairie, and I’m south of the city,” he says. “So with the location, that was unfortunate.”
While Keating and Neufeld wait to find the musical partners that suit them, both recommend that musicians who are looking to find consistent collaborators try to get exposure both online and in real life.
“Go to an open mic,” Keating says. “There are a bunch of them all over the place, three of which I go to every week, and you meet people. You meet lots of different people and people who are looking for someone to jam with, and you might end up running into somebody, and you guys get along.”
Neufeld stresses that while having accurate descriptors in listings is important, going to the kind of shows and scenes that he would like to play has been important to him.
“Winnipeg is a great city for music. It’s one of the best in Canada, and I think it is the best, hands down,” Keating says. “It’s the place to be if you want to play music. You just have to be willing to get out there and play.”
Published in Volume 73, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 7, 2019)